As far as I can tell there is no private message feature between members here. I understand that, being a basic Q&A site, PMs are hardly necessary but nonetheless it could be useful for personal communication. Obviously no technical questions would be allowed to be asked in private messages, but there are a few people here with whom I would like to speak on topics not related to EE. Am I the only one? Are there any particular reasons why the creators/owners of the site have elected not to host any private messages?

It is a feature request, but I would not be too broken up if it was turned down immediately (provided there is a solid reason not to have it). I'm just curious if this has been discussed before and if a consensus was reached. I am not finding anything about private message discussions here.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Why all the downvotes? It was a perfectly reasonable question (and the provided answer points to a completely different site on the StackExchange network, so how do you expect the answer to appear in my searches here?). \$\endgroup\$
    – DerStrom8
    Sep 15, 2016 at 19:32
  • 3
    \$\begingroup\$ Don't take it personally - you'll find that downvotes are used to express disagreement on Meta. Private messaging is definitely a bit of a hot-button topic - many users are here because there is no private messaging and no way for unsolicited messages to reach you. \$\endgroup\$
    – W5VO
    Sep 18, 2016 at 1:47
  • \$\begingroup\$ @W5VO - Not "no way" but 'harder than usual'. Not too hard if you want to make it easily possible (as in my case), not too too hard in many other cases, and nigh impossible in some. \$\endgroup\$
    – Russell McMahon Mod
    Sep 19, 2016 at 1:26
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ If you want to speak on topics not related to EE, we have a chat room. But only other people who are also interested in off-topic discussion will be found there. \$\endgroup\$
    – The Photon
    Sep 19, 2016 at 17:43
  • \$\begingroup\$ Whatever improves quality of communication should be promoted or improving SNR as it were. In some cases a PM might help but in others it would be a nuisance. \$\endgroup\$ Sep 20, 2016 at 3:18

1 Answer 1


This has been discussed many times on various sites over the years.

The answer has always been "no".

The definitive answer is probably on Meta Stack Exchange from 2009 on the accepted answer to this question

it's about the questions and answers, not social networking. But if you want to contact someone, check their profile -- they will provide an URL or email address there.

It boils down to the fact that the focus of the site is the Q&A. We always tell people to vote on the merits of the post and not on who posted it, for example.

You can try inviting a user into chat for a discussion, but they are free to ignore that if they wish to. If a user doesn't provide contact details in their profile then you should assume that they don't want to be contacted off site.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Thank you for the helpful response. This is much more useful than the downvotes. \$\endgroup\$
    – DerStrom8
    Sep 15, 2016 at 19:33
  • \$\begingroup\$ @DerStrom8, downvotes on meta don't mean it's a bad question, they mean people are voting against the proposal. \$\endgroup\$
    – The Photon
    Sep 19, 2016 at 17:42
  • \$\begingroup\$ @ThePhoton Thanks for the clarification. It's obvious I don't come here often! haha \$\endgroup\$
    – DerStrom8
    Sep 19, 2016 at 18:40

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